Fortescue Premier Grade - Fortescue NAIDOC Round Preview

Thu, Jul 4, 2024, 2:00 AM
Rugby WA Media
by Rugby WA Media

Fortescue NAIDOC Round kicks off this Saturday. 

As the competition enters its eleventh round, teams will celebrate the upcoming NAIDOC Week with events taking place across clubland. 


In annual tradition, Wanneroo is set to face Kalamunda for Fortescue NAIDOC Round. The game will kick off at 3:30PM, at Kingsway Sports Complex on Whadjuk Noongar boodja. 

Wanneroo's Fortescue Premier Grade side saw a tight win in Round 10 over Southern Lions, finishing the match 24-30. Tries for Wanneroo were scored by Luke Callan, Andrew King (23’) and Brayden Karangaroa (35’), with one penalty try scored (64’). Baptiste Roucan completed a conversion (14’), as well as two penalties (40’, 41’). For Southern Lions, tries were scored by Aisake Meo, Raikadroka Rafaele and Sorovakatini Tuifagalele, with two conversions from Saimoni Qaranivalu, and a conversion and penalty from Serupepeli Vularika. 

“Coming off the bye week, we were happy with parts of our performance last week,” Wanneroo Head Coach, Sam Rarasea, said. 

“Happy we held on for the win down in Success, as Southern Lions were coming home strongly at the end there.” 

Coming up against Kalamunda, Rarasea shared their biggest challenge will be containing the side’s forwards. 

“Kalamunda traditionally have had some big forwards that are capable of shifting the ball through contact so we’re looking to slow that process down.” 

“I’m hoping to see us make forward decisions when we create opportunities. As the competition draws closer to the end, we know teams will tighten up and with post-season games on the line, opportunities will be limited.” 

With a string of tight performances over the last few rounds, Wanneroo will be looking for their opportunity to get out in front and shine. 

“The upcoming rounds, I think our pack is where we can apply pressure from the most,” Rarasea said. 

“We have a solid platform at set piece which we have put a lot of time into from the outset. If we can capitalise from quality ball, we are capable of putting teams under a bit of pressure.” 

A big day at Wanneroo, there will also be a milestone match on field for front-row stalwart, Jake Smith. Smith is set to play his 150th Premier Grade Cap, an achievement that was 20 years in the making. 

Smith made his Premier Grade debut for Wanneroo as an 18-year-old hooker in 2005. A few years in the Premier Grade, including an appearance in the 2008 Grand Final clash with Kalamunda, Smith took a decade-long sabbatical, before returning to rugby with Wanneroo’s Third Grade. Making the odd appearance in the top Grade, he returned to regular Premier Grade appearances last season, coming back to the Premiers full-time.  

One of the older members of the side, his steady work-rate, his wisdom and calm demeanour make him an integral part of the current team. A club man through and through, Jake never thought he’d make it to 150 Premier Grade caps. 

Congratulations to Jake Smith for this incredible milestone! 


A big weekend for Kalamunda last weekend saw a 45-10 win over UWA at McGillivray Oval. Tries for the side were scored by Usaia Ralulu (13’, 43’), Norman Tapara (25’), Asotasi Fa’avae (31’), Adriu Duvuduvuduvukula (50’), Madison Hunting (55’) and Feleti Mafi (78’). Evan Jordan completed five conversions for Kalamunda during the game (14’, 32’, 44’, 56’, 80’). For UWA, Jack Wickham scored one try (18’), with Caleb Young completing the conversion (18’), as well as scoring a penalty (8’). 

“We were obviously stoked with the result,” Kalamunda Head Coach, Callum Payne, shared.  

“We had a tough start to the season but the men taking the field have worked bloody hard to get through it and to start putting some good performances together. The last 6 weeks have been a better reflection of where we know we should be at.” 

“While we're happy with the win against UWA, we feel we left some opportunities out there that we won't always get away with, so the next job is to build off that performance and make sure it's not a peak for us.” 

Not sitting too far apart on the season’s ladder, Kalamunda knows Wanneroo will be a great challenge heading into the game, especially with the added stakes of milestone performances. 

“Wanneroo have been in great attacking form - in the last month the only game they lost they still scored 50 points - so we know we are going to have to be on top of our game defensively if we want to come out on top.” 

“It's a big week for them with 2 club stalwarts bringing up milestone games and they will want to put in a performance that reflects the work Jake [Smith] and Andre [Roux] have put into the club over the years.” 

Heading into the match, Payne said he’s hoping to see consistency in performance from his side. 

“We've worked hard on the accuracy and intensity of our collisions and are happy with how that has been going. If we can consistently win the physical battle, it allows the rest of our game to function well.” 

“We just need to stick to what we're good at and stay in the fight for the full 80. Earlier in the season we struggled with consistency but now that we've got that right, we've shown what we can do.” 

“A big focus is to continue building. Every performance this time of year needs to be a step up from the one before it.” 


For clubs such as Kalamunda and Wanneroo, being a part of rounds such as NAIDOC Round is an important reflection on the cultural diversity within their club spaces, and the continued push for inclusivity. 

“Kalamunda has a strong influence of different cultures at the club,” Kalamunda’s Fortescue Premier Grade Captain, Henare Houkamu said. 

“NAIDOC Round helps us celebrate the rich history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and celebrate them and the land for which we live on.” 

“An event like this is important, as our club and the Fortescue Premier Grade competition boasts a lot of cultures from around the globe, as well as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities,” Wanneroo’s Rarasea said. 

“Hosting NAIDOC round is very important to Wanneroo Rugby, as we pride ourselves in the diversity of heritages throughout the club.” 


Wanneroo v. Kalamunda is set to be streamed live on Stan for Fortescue NAIDOC Round. Both teams will be wearing NAIDOC playing jerseys for the game, with kick off from 3:30PM at Kingsway Sports Complex on Whadjuk Noongar boodja.  


RugbyWA would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we operate. RugbyWA is located on Noongar land, and has affiliated clubs across Whadjuk, Pinjarup, Wardandi, Bibbulman, Minang, Kaniyang, Wugjari, Amangu and Wangkathaa lands. RugbyWA pays our respects to Elders Past, Present and Future, and stand with all Indigenous Australians on the journey towards reconciliation. 

To access resources for First Nations Australians, or for clubs wishing to support First Nations Australians, please visit RugbyWA's First Nations Resources page. 


Fortescue Men’s Premier Grade Fortescue NAIDOC Round Fixtures 

Southern Lions v. Joondalup Brothers @ Success Regional Sports Facility, Beeliar Nyungar boodja 

Nedlands v. Cottesloe @ Sir Charles Court Reserve, Wadjak Nyoongar boodja 

Perth Bayswater v. Associates @ Pat O’Hara Reserve, Whadjuk Noongar boodja 

Wests Scarborough v. Palmyra @ Bennett Park, Wadjak Nyoongar boodja 

Wanneroo v. Kalamunda @ Kingsway Sports Complex, Whadjuk & Yued Noongar boodja *Streaming live on Stan